Feb 17, 2011

International Schools in Budapest: English Garden Preschool

The English Garden preschool is an English-curriculum accredited preschool and kindergarten for ages 2 to 7 in the Pest side of Budapest. Located in a quiet section of the 8th district, this preschool is one of the only English-language preschools on the more urban Pest side of the river. We spoke with Mrs. Sam Cartwright, director of English Garden Preschool.

What to expect...
From the teachers: 
The classrooms of this school are staffed by two teachers: one English-speaking and one Hungarian. The student teacher ratio ranges between 6:1 and 9:1. Teachers come to the school with teaching experience and qualifications from Hungary or abroad while teaching assistants obtain a diploma in Preschool Practice over a two year period. Extracurricular instructors have expertise in the fields of dance, physical education and judo.

From the curriculum:
Curriculum is fairly structured at this preschool and kindergarten. Students begin their day with playtime followed by lessons in reading, writing or arts and crafts. During lunch and breaks, age groups are mixed; during lessons they are divided by year. At the uppermost levels, the school day is comparable to that of a primary school. Upper level students study reading, writing, history, science and geography. "The school focuses on increasing concentration time, building confidence and fostering an interest in reading and learning", Mrs. Cartwright says. This is achieved through a structured and explicit curriculum that guides both students and teachers through material. As Mrs. Cartwright explained, the adherence to such a curriculum allows students to easily transition to other British school systems.

Teachers plan activities through six main areas of learning and development:
1) Personal, Social and Emotional Development
2) Communication, Language and Literacy
3) Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
4) Knowledge and Understanding of the World
5) Physical Development
6) Creative Development

From the student body:
Enrollment is about 45 students from up to 25 counties, including Hungary. There are four classes divided as follows:
          Nursery Class: 2-3 year olds
          Pre-Reception Class: 3 to 4 year olds
          Reception Class: 4 to 5 year olds
          Year 1/Year 2 class: 5 to 7 year olds

With strong encouragement to use English, students pick up the language in about two weeks. All students study Hungarian and foreign students have optional extra Hungarian lessons after school. Extra Hungarian began as a program to help teach Mrs. Cartwright’s children, but it quickly became quite popular with all families choosing to settle in Hungary for an extended period.

Teachers report that students’ health has noticeably improved since the installation of salt walls—an approximately 4sqm wall of bricks and salt placed in a busy corner fo the classroom. Similar to a salt chamber, the salt permeates the room and children and teachers benefit from its healing powers.

From other parents:
Families that attend The English Garden preschool tend to prefer living on the more urban Pest side. Popular areas for them to live include along Andrassy ut in the 6th district and in the heart of the city: the 5th district.

Take a look at some of At Home's 5th and 6th district properties in Budapest here

In order to encourage a sense of community without interrupting children’s learning, English Garden has created a parent room. This small house, separated from the main school building, looks like a living room or business center complete with coffee machine, couches, a living room interior decorations and wifi. Mrs. Cartwright shared a story of a parent who spent two hours working in the Parent Room while awaiting a late morning business meeting.

More information:
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 3:30pm. Children should arrive by 9 am, after school club runs from 3:30 pm to 5 pm.

Standard uniforms are worn throughout the school year. The English garden winter uniform consists of a sweater, polo shirt and trousers or skirt. The summer uniform is red and white checked dress or English garden t-shirt and shorts.

To see luxury properties convenient for families attending English Garden Preschool, visit
At Home Network

Tel: +36 1 240 2767
For sale: elad@athomebudapest.com
For rent: info@athomebudapest.com

English Garden Preschool is located at:
25 Villám utca Budapest 1089
Tel: +36 20 224 5070

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